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  Your guide to
Fire Alarm Categories
  Fire alarms vary dramatically based on the application and need for fire detection. Depending on your building type, business and use, a fire alarm system can fall within three main categories.
L Category is for fire systems designed to protect life
P Category is for fire systems designed to protect property
M Category is for manual fire systems
  To help our customers get to grips with each category and to help them find out where their business may fall into these categories, below we have outlined details of the classification for commercial fire alarm systems. A fire alarm system can vary in both price and complexity, so it is key to ensure your system is fit for your use.
Fire Alarm Installer Bristol
Our Bristol based team work closely with you to identify the most suitable fire system and detection for your application
Fire Alarms Bristol
Fire Alarms Bristol
M Fire Alarm System
At the lowest end of the scale, a manual fire system forms the basic requirement for places of employment with no sleeping risk. A manual system may be purely manual, or manual electric where call points and sounders are positioned across the building. These systems rely on occupants to sound the alarm in the event of a fire, acting to warn others by operating the system.
Fire Alarms Bristol
Fire Alarms Bristol
P2 Fire Alarm System
A P2 fire system takes into account areas of the building where fire risk is high, or alternatively where the contents of the room are particularly valuable - such as a server room. P2 fire alarm systems also take into account business disruption and provides fire detection in specific parts of the building to minimise disruption.
Fire Alarms Bristol
Fire Alarms Bristol
L2 Fire Alarm System

Continuing with the protection of life at the forefront of design, a category L2 fire alarm system consists of automatic detectors installed in escape routes, rooms adjoining escape routes and notably high hazard rooms. Although similar to an L3 system, an L2 fire alarm system also provides additional detection in areas of high risk or high chance of ignition. This can include areas such as kitchens, or where there is greater risk for the occupants (i.e. sleeping risk).

In a medium sized property with facilities to sleep no more than ten occupants, an L2 fire alarm system is a wise choice.

Fire Alarms Bristol
Fire Alarms Bristol
L4 Fire Alarm System
A category L4 fire alarm system is designed to cover escape routes and circulation areas. Whilst the primary aim for an L4 system is to protect the escape route, the placement of detectors will be dictated by the fire risk assessment. Other factors may include the size or complexity of the building.
Fire Alarms Bristol
Fire Alarms Bristol
P1 Fire Alarm System
A P1 fire alarm system is typically installed throughout the building - with exceptions to small, low risk areas such as cupboards less than 1m2. The primary objective of this fire alarm system is to detect fire as early as possible and notify the fire brigade to minimise damage caused by the fire.
Fire Alarms Bristol
Fire Alarms Bristol
L1 Fire Alarm System

Category L1 fire alarm systems are designed with people in mind. Protection of life is vital, so precautions must be put in place to provide the earliest possible warning of fire. L1 system consists of automatic fire detection installed throughout the property, including small areas such as roof spaces and voids.

The highest level of detection is required for a category L1 system, which is likely to be ideal for the majority of residential care properties. Good practice would be to install detectors in nearly all spaces and voids across the premises - ensuring the whole building is covered with minor exceptions.

Fire Alarms Bristol
Fire Alarms Bristol
L3 Fire Alarm System
A category L3 fire alarm system is designed to provide early warning to all occupants within the property. Detectors are designed to be installed in all escape routes and all rooms that open onto an escape route. Typically, a L3 system will also provide more coverage than a L4 system, with an aim to provide suitable time to ensure that all occupants are able to leave the building before escape routes are deemed impassable.
Fire Alarms Bristol
Fire Alarms Bristol
L5 Fire Alarm System
L5 fire alarm systems typically are found under the 'all other situations' category or known as a custom category relating to special fire detection/suppression requirements that are not covered by any other category. Examples may include server rooms with fire suppression systems adjoined to automatic detection.
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